Evolutionary Epistemology and the Aim of Science

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):209-225 (2010)
Abstract
Both Popper and van Fraassen have used evolutionary analogies to defend their views on the aim of science, although these are diametrically opposed. By employing Price's equation in an illustrative capacity, this paper considers which view is better supported. It shows that even if our observations and experimental results are reliable, an evolutionary analogy fails to demonstrate why conjecture and refutation should result in: (1) the isolation of true theories; (2) successive generations of theories of increasing truth-likeness; (3) empirically adequate theories; or (4) successive generations of theories of increasing proximity to empirical adequacy. Furthermore, it illustrates that appeals to induction do not appear to help. It concludes that an evolutionary analogy is only sufficient to defend the notion that the aim of science is to isolate a particular class of false theories, namely those that are empirically inadequate.
Keywords Evolutionary Epistemolgy  Popper  Van Fraassen  Aim of Science  Scientific Realism  Constructive Empiricism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00048400903367866
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,204
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Objective Knowledge.Karl R. Popper - 1972 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.
The Scientific Image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - Oxford University Press.
Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

View all 42 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Aimless Science.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1211-1221.
What Scientific Progress Is Not: Against Bird's Epistemic View.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):241-255.
Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism.Steven French - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):164-173.
Constructive Empiricism: Normative or Descriptive?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):604-616.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Constructive Empiricism and Anti-Realism.Sam Mitchell - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:174 - 180.
Constructive Empiricism and the Vices of Voluntarism.Paul Dicken - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2):189 – 201.
A Paradox for Empiricism (?).Igor Douven - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):297.
Constructive Empiricism and Deflationary Truth.Jamin Asay - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (4):423-443.
To Believe in Belief Popper and Van Fraassen on Scientific Realism.Herman C. D. G. De Regt - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (1):21 - 39.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-02-02

Total downloads

254 ( #13,254 of 2,164,236 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

12 ( #28,640 of 2,164,236 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums